Chris Watson – El Tren Fantasma – The Signal Man’s Mix (Touch – TO:42V)

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Rating: 9/10 Railway, a symbol of motion, offers ultimate percussion experience as the rhythmic movement can be physically perceived on board. Chris Watson, a founding member of Cabaret Voltaire, decided to use trains as instruments and traveled with his recording gear across Mexico to capture sounds of rails for an album released on Touch. Two tracks, labeled as Signal Man’s mixes, were selected for the vinyl release where ambient fog and touches of percussion are added to looped fragments of field recordings. “El Divisadero – The Telegraph” is a lighter vehicle, like a passenger train, but fascinates with rail-made rhythm patterns. “Veracruz […]

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Transportation AAD – Last Train To Lexington (Darkestral 006)

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Rating: 9/10 Transportation AAD is in charge for heavy cargo. So far I had associated Darkestral with dubstep and drum’n’bass, but Alex Green’s and Paul Laidlaw’s seismic debut goes to the extremes in bass dosage. A-side’s “Last Train To Lexington” booms and thunders like hell and tells it’s definitely not a good idea to cross the rails with red lights blinking when this train is coming. On the flip “U.F. Unk” continues the trip with mammoth beats. Simple, but striking.Buy

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Drexciya – Journey Of The Deep Sea Dweller I (Clone Classic Cuts – C#CC22CD)

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Rating: 10/10 “Journey Of The Deep Sea Dweller I” is for Terminal 313 and any other electro head the most anticipated reissue of 2011. In fact a compilation, it catapults us back to the 1990’s when enigmatic Detroit act was still around. No need to repeat numerous superlatives that have been associated with James Stinson’s and Gerald Donald’s project over the years – just give us the music. It’s like meeting old friends again, with most tracks known from original releases and “The Quest”, so far the only CD compilation of Drexciya’s work. Included are “Wavejumper”, an anthem of aquatic commandos, “Bubble Metropolis” with […]

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Nuel – Trance Mutation (Further Records – Fur 038)

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Rating: 10/10 Close the door and enter the relaxation chamber with oil massage and fish therapy. Manuel Fogliata a.k.a. Nuel operates a spa of sounds to purify minds and bodies. After a couple of technoid releases, most recently for enigmatic Aquaplano Limited series, it’s quite unexpected to hear the Italian on such a esoteric tip. Looking at the publisher, Further Records, the absence of booming drones is not a surprise, if we just think on fellow Italian’s Donato Dozzy’s album on the Seattle imprint last year.At first sight the orange vinyl in silk-screen printed Ancient Egypt cover depicting ibis-headed god […]

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Alva Noto – Univrs (Raster-Noton – r-n 133-2)

Rating: 9/10 Pff…dff…zhlkk…ghzz. A rational mind has spoken and composed fourteen interpretations on the theme “Uni”. Despite built on metallic loops and particle noise, the album sounds very sterile, coming like from a whitewashed, even clinical environment.Among the tracks you find experiments with Balinese bells and asymmetric sound channels, will be exposed to the low bass strewn with Morse signals and followed by the hydraulic steps of a rhythm giant.My favorite is “Uni Acronym”, a monotone cooperation with voice performer Anne-James Chaton, who recites three-letter-abbreviations like KGB, NGO, TGV, UPS, etc.Occasionally reminding of Pan Sonic and Autechre, the album is a a […]

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San Proper – Groundfloor Afterlife (Studio Soulrock STUDIOS006)

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Rating: 9/10 Good thing about record stores is that you end up buying artists that you consider “unknown” until the act of purchase. San Proper did not ring any bells until listening moments at Rush Hour Amsterdam, now it seems to be among best releases of this month. Home spinning confirmed the choice to be excellent with Amsterdamer’s scarce beats and stripped-down house arrangements.On the A-side San Proper has sneaked into financial district elevators with his field recording equipment to examine the charms of lower spheres of high-rises. Hypnotic humming-along and bony percussion mixed with noises from the world of motors and sultry […]

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KPLR – Untitled (Digitalis Recordings digiv037)

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Rating: 9/10 KPLR has enslaved technology to conduct high-end acid experiments with punishing repetition and whirling EQ-effects. It’s pure unlimited programming that systematically avoids looking into the books of current techno idols. Occasionally the tracks remind of early Bunker output like Acid Planet, but those looking for bass-driven 303 slammers will be surprised. Also, the act has shown courage to resist the bass obsession by finding attraction in treble levels of the sound. It seems KPLR has noticed tiny elements in acid patterns, picked them up and built entire tracks around them. No ambient intros, no gradual introduction to the […]

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Blender techno

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KPLR This year we have witnessed the invasion of wired punks moving on the fringe of electronic music. Hailing often from small-town America and ignoring the trends of the techno jetset, this new breed of artists has stirred up the scene in 2011. KPLR, Container, Red Stars Over Tokyo, Pete Swanson, Vatican Shadow, to name a few of them, have gained much respect and sheer admiration. There is a perfectly drafted piece on this phenomenon by Mnml Ssgs guys where the new direction in electronic music is dubbed “post-techno”. Fits pretty well in my view, the only thing is that […]

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Stingray313 – Electronic Countermeasures (Micron Audio MCR00002)

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Rating: 9/10 Amidst the wires of copper and plastic, Stingray313 travels in a jungle of semiconductors to drop another futuristic session for electro heads. Billed earlier as “Drexciyan DJ”, the masked man from Detroit is gradually navigating on his own ways and is clearly positioned in the frontline of contemporary electro.“Electronic Countermeasures” contains four magnetizing, equally strong cuts that kick and vibrate under a veil of darkness. Gloomy vocal sample lends horror movie feeling to “Signal Analysis”, the rest are precisely constructed instrumental transmissions with hints of experimental techno. “Spread Spectrum” is the culmination with a shower of obscure voices […]

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Red Stars Over Tokyo – Hits Of Sunshine (Hot Hair 04)

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Rating: 9/10 Never heard about the Red Stars Over Tokyo before. The act name promised an atmospheric affair, as did the album title “Hits Of Sunshine”. Had a strong feeling of prejudice of being affronted with sounds that are good for watering the plants. Not true, it offers much more.The title track is, as expected, a lush electronic composition, although minimalistic humming interference closer to the end hints that this might not be so mellow thing. Also in “Lost Trace” the beats are still buried, but odd voices reminding of sacral choir and secretive whispers indicate a small change. Only […]

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